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The History of the Side Loader Garbage Truck

The side loader garbage truck is by no means a recent invention. The addition of an automatic hydraulic lifting arm is nearly as old as the side loader itself. Let’s explore side loader garbage truck history and how it contributed to the waste disposal industry over the years.

How It Began

The origins can be traced back to 1947 with the advent of the first side loader truck. The company PakMor patented a garbage disposal truck with an opening for disposal on the side rather than the rear. A hydraulic ram in the interior pushes the waste into the rear. PakMor also pioneered garbage trucks with a cylindrical disposal bin, which was a first for the industry. Eventually, other manufacturers followed suit. The manufacturing company M-B Corporation produced its own side loader in the 1950s. This was followed by a more enhanced model by the company Helix in the mid-1970s, which had a side loader on both sides.

The history of the automated side loader truck began in the late 1960s with the first prototype of a hydraulic lifting arm. Early models had many flaws; often, the brakes would lock up, or the bin would slip through the grabber. Later models included the Godzilla Truck, which featured a hydraulic arm controlled with a joystick.

Have these automated side loaders proved effective? A 1980 report revealed only a single work-related injury, compared to 36 injuries in 1968, the year prior to the release of the first hydraulic arm.

Why It’s Revolutionary

A side loader reduced the garbage collector’s distance of travel between the garbage bin placement and the truck’s disposal opening. While a few extra steps between the truck’s side and rear doesn’t seem like a lot, it adds up over the course of a work day, which may include several hundred waste collections. This drastically reduced injury rates. Injury claims of sanitary workers in the 1960s and 1970s exceeded that of other heavy manual labor occupations, including firefighting and logging. Even today, waste collection often makes the list of top 10 most dangerous jobs in America.

Invest in an Automated Side Loader

Tremendous strides have been made in the garbage disposal industry over the decades. Many disposal services, though, have yet to take full advantage of the latest garbage disposal technology. Contact Big Truck Rental to add an automatic side loader to your fleet. It will streamline and expand your daily operations.

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